One of the best things about learning something new is being able to share that knowledge with others.
Here’s some fun facts that will astonish you.
Sugar is believed to have been discovered by Alexander the Great before the Common Era began. It was discovered in cane form, and once found, it became popular throughout Alexander’s empire. Sugar is a natural product, meaning it comes from the earth. For a long time, sugar was so rare that it was limited to the rich and to those in the courts, but its availability has increased tremendously over time.
Sugar is naturally white. When the sugar is initially extracted from the plants, it has a golden color because of the non-sugar materials attached to and within the sugar crystals. This golden sugar is then purified, where these plant fibers and molasses are removed, extracting the sugar molecules from the non-sugar materials and restoring the sugar crystals to their natural white color.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, sugarcane is the world’s largest crop. 168 million tons of sugar were produced around the world in 2011. 80% of the world’s sugar production comes from sugarcane, while the other 20% comes from sugar beets.
The use of sugar as a medicine dates back at least as far as ninth century Iraq, where it was combined with fruits and spices to make medicinal syrups, powders, and infusions. Centuries later, British doctors prescribed sugar to cure a range of diseases—one 18th century physician even suggested blowing sugar powder into the eyes to cure eye ailments and irritations.
It needs to come as no surprise that sugar makes us happy. The numerous genetics research study has uncovered that there are 2 sweet-receptor genes in the body. It, even more, states that sugar triggers the pleasure center of our brain and also creates a rush of dopamine. This will generate an immediate, blissful feeling.
Many of the same properties that make sugar an excellent preservative also make sugar effective in wound healing. When sugar is applied to an open wound, it absorbs the wound’s moisture, which prevents the growth of bacteria. While there are records that date back to 1700 BCE, recent research has also been conducted in this area.
The three main categories of sugar are monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polyols. Monosaccharides are single molecule sugars, while disaccharides are made up of two linked monosaccharides—both are found in a range of products, from fruits and table sugar to milk. Polyols, meanwhile, aren’t true sugars—they’re found in many sugar-free sweeteners.
Scientists are still studying why some animals have a preference for sweet foods and others don’t. They’ve found, for example, that dogs enjoy sweet foods while cats and other felines don’t have sweetness receptors in their brains. They’ve hypothesized that sweetness receptors are unnecessary for carnivorous animals, as well as for animals that tend not to chew their food at all, such as dolphins and sea lions.
Sugar art is the practice of creating confectionery sculptures that are both decorative and edible. It involves the creation of sculptures made entirely of sugar and sugar derivatives. Sugar art uses a combination of many different techniques of manipulating sugar including sugar lace, spun sugar, cast sugar, pulled sugar and blown sugar. Commonly created shapes are flowers, leaves, ribbons, spirals, baskets, spheres, fruit, animals, vases, birds and fish.